What is Dry Cleaning?


What is Dry Cleaning?

We know it may sound strange. How do we clean our clothes with a method called “dry cleaning”?

It’s actually very straightforward. Dry cleaning is any cleaning process for clothing and textiles using organic solvents rather than water.

The term “dry cleaning” is a bit misleading. It originated during the 1600’s in early Greece when the Mycenaeans would use a dry compound to clean stains out of their garments. Although the technology used by dry cleaners to clean clothes has changed significantly over time, the term “dry cleaning” has stuck as the term used to describe a method of cleaning clothes without water.

The solvent typically used is tetrachloroethylene (perchloroethylene), abbreviated “perc” in the industry and referred to as “dry-cleaning fluid” by the public. Dry cleaning is necessary for cleaning items that would otherwise be damaged by water and soap or detergent. It may be used if hand washing— needed for some delicate fabrics — is excessively laborious.

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